AFRICAN-AMERICAN/BETSY DEVOS/EDUCATION/GOP/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “When Erin Rathke, the principal at Justice Page Middle School, is called to extract a student from class, she hears the same plea over and over again, most often, she has to admit, from black children: ‘The teacher only sees me.’
The plea weighs heavily at Justice Page, where African-American students are 338 percent more likely to be suspended than their white peers. ‘It’s painful sometimes, but I have to say, ‘Yes, that’s probably true,’ Ms. Rathke said.
It is a reality that district leaders here have been grappling with for years: The Minneapolis school district suspends an inordinate number of black students compared with white ones, and it is struggling to figure out why. Last year, districtwide, black students were 41 percent of the overall student population, but made up 76 percent of the suspensions. Numbers like that prompted the Obama administration in 2014 to draft tough new policies to try to address racial disparities in school discipline across the country. Now, the Trump administration is trying to reverse those policies — in part, administration officials say, as a response to school shootings like the massacre last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla…Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has been eyeing the guidance for reversal since she took office, will head a White House commission on school safety that has been specifically tasked with examining whether to repeal the discipline guidance.”
–Erica L. Green, “Why Are Black Students Punished So Often? Minnesota Confronts a National Quandary,” The New York Times on;line, Mar. 18, 2018